Effects of radiotherapy on plasma energy metabolites in patients with breast cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy



Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is employed in patients with breast cancer (BC) with the aim of reducing tumor burden and improving surgical outcomes. We evaluated the levels of energy metabolites pre- and post-radiotherapy (RT) in breast cancer (BC) patients who previously received NACT and investigated the alterations of these metabolites in relation to the patient achieving a pathologic complete response to NACT.

Materials and methods

We included 37 BC patients who were treated with NACT following surgery and analyzed the concentrations of energy balance-related metabolites using targeted metabolomics before and one month after the end of RT. The control group was composed of 44 healthy women.


Pre-radiotherapy, patients had significant decreases in the plasma levels of 12 metabolites. RT corrected these alterations and the improvement was superior in patients with a pathologic complete response.


Our results highlight the importance of metabolism in the outcomes of patients with BC.

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This study was funded, in part, by a grant from Associació Oncològica Dr. Amadeu Pelegrí (AODAP/2015; Salou, Spain). The authors thank the members of this Association together with all the volunteers from Salou and the surrounding areas for their enthusiastic support for our research.

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Correspondence to M. Arenas.

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The study was approved by the Ethics Committee (Institutional Review Board) of the Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus (project code: CEIM 014/2017).

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All patients signed a written informed consent according to the declaration of Helsinki.

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Arenas, M., Fernández-Arroyo, S., Rodríguez-Tomàs, E. et al. Effects of radiotherapy on plasma energy metabolites in patients with breast cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Clin Transl Oncol 22, 1078–1085 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-019-02232-6

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  • Breast cancer
  • Energy metabolism
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy